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Tips and Tricks Uncategorized

Give Your Office Door A Star Trek “Swoosh” Sound Effect

Feel like you are entering the bridge every time you come into your office by reproducing the Star Trek “swooshing” door sound.  This trick uses a Webcam that sense motion, which triggers a script that plays the sound file.  If you want something more professional looking, check out the Star Trek Door Panel on ThinkGeek.

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Tips and Tricks Uncategorized

Put Santa’s Face In Your Wi-Fi Network Name

Make sure Santa knows you want your presents delivered by setting your wireless network name to show his picture.  You may also want to add some presents in there so he knows that you want them.  Inspired by the spooky halloween SSID.  If Santa happens to be on his iPhone, your emojified network name will […]

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System Administration Uncategorized

More Minnesota Testing Woes: Scripting MN ACT Compass Test

While not nearly as awful as Pearson’s TestNav, the Web-based MN ACT Compass Test still requires manual intervention before students are able to test–enough that some scripting is warranted. The technical requirements are much better than Pearson’s, but this test requires that each workstation needs to be registered before anyone can take a test on […]

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System Administration Uncategorized

terminal-notifer Scripts Via the JSS

Scripts run as root when executed via the JSS.  This caused problems when trying to send notifications using terminal-notifier to users because root does not have a NotificationCenter instance, so any script using terminal-notifier would hang.  The trick to get around that is to run the command as the user. I have been converting a […]

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Tips and Tricks Uncategorized

Give Your Mac A Voice-activated Self Destruct Command (Just Like Star Trek)

OS X Yosemite has a new feature called Dictation Commands.  This allows you to press Function key twice, speak your command, and then have the computer do something for you.  While there are some useful built in ones, it is much more interesting to make your own. In this example, I make a Star Trek-style […]

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System Administration Uncategorized

Scripting Pearson’s TestNav on Windows Using Python

Getting Pearson’s Web-based TestNav to work on OS X was challenging enough, but getting it to work on Windows is also difficult.  Fortunately, Windows can run Python–even though it isn’t installed by default like OS X.  And Python is great for scripting and automating mundane tasks.  Pair that with some Group Policy Objects (GPOs), and […]